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Treasury CS Rotich surrenders to DCI following arrest order

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Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich has surrendered himself to Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters moments after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) ordered his arrest over his alleged role in the loss of Ksh17 billion public funds in the highly politicised Ksh63 billion Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal.

Speaking during a press conference on Monday, DPP Haji also ordered for the arrest of Treasury Principal Secretary Kamau Thugge, East African Community (EAC) Principal Secretary Dr Susan Jemutai Koech , Managing Director Kerio Valley Development Authority (KVDA) David Kimosop , Chief Economist and Head of Euro II division National Treasury Kennedy Nyakundi Nyachiro and Director Resource Mobilisation National Treasury Jackson Njau Kinyanjui saying that they deliberately circumvented procurement laws to ensure that the tenders were awarded to broke Italian firm CMC Di Ravenna.

“The officials who should have pointed this out failed to do so and went ahead to award the contract to CMC Di Ravenna of Italy to run concurrently while aware that the firm at the time was straining and getting into voluntary liquidation back in Italy,” said Haji.

“The commercial contracts agreed between CMC Di Ravenna and KVDA clearly states that Kimwarer Dam would cost USD204 million (Ksh21 billion) and Arror Dam USD 252 million (Ksh26 billion) which amounts to approximately amounts to Ksh46 billion,” said Haji “Treasury negotiated a credit facility that raised the amount to Ksh63 billion which is Ksh17 billion more than necessary and payable on a timely basis without a regard to perfomance or works,”

Others set to be arrested include;  CMC DI Ravenna Director Paolo Porcelli,  Inspector General of State Corporations Titus Muriithi,  Head of Supply Chain Management KVDA William Kipkemboi Maina, Manager Engineering Services KVDA Paul Kipkoech Serem  and Chief Executive National Environment Management Agency (NEMA) Geoffrey Wahungu who are some of the 28 officials facing eight charges among them conspiracy to defraud the government and willful failure to comply with procurement laws.

According to Haji, the Italian firm submitted designs for the project in February 2019, four years behind schedule.

The top prosecutor added that KVDA chose Public Procurement and Disposal Act (PPDA) 2005 despite the law prescribing Public and Private Partnerships (PPP).

He added that Treasury entered into a facility contract in Euros while the commercial contracts were in US dollars further occasioning more losses to the government.

{Read: Najib Balala: Kenya to push for total ban on ivory trade}

“Ksh643 million was also released by treasury to resettle persons that would be affected by the project. However there is no evidence that land has been acquired four years down the line,” added Haji.

DPP Haji was also categorical that the government will not allow prosecution of the mentioned individuals to be politicised warning that any attempt to do so will be met will the full force of the law.

“There may be elements who may seek to exploit these indictments to instigate social arrest. We have put in place mechanisms to monitor any such attempts which will be countered with whole government response.” added Haji.

{See also: FKF appoints interim CEO amid John Avire transfer scandal}

Deputy President William Ruto has more than once verbally attacked the DPP and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over prosecution of the case claiming that the move is meant to derail his 2022 State House ambitions.

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